White Sox

Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

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Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

From Comcast SportsNetCORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with "unethical conduct" when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes' athletic department with its notice of allegations, said two people familiar with the situation.The people spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami have announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It's unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.The NCAA does not comment on ongoing investigations. Miami officials have said throughout the investigation, which started in 2011, that the school is cooperating with the NCAA and will decline extensive public comment out of respect to that process.The people told the AP that Miami still has not seen a final version of the notice of allegations, the arrival of which will essentially bring just the first chapter of this Miami-NCAA saga to a close. Several people involved with the process have either reviewed draft documents or been advised of their upcoming mentions in telephone calls with investigators. Most of those calls took place last week.Another individual who was interviewed during the joint inquiry told the AP that the NCAA has not been in contact since. That suggests not everyone who at one time was thought to be under investigation will not actually be mentioned in the notice of allegations.Earlier this month, Miami coach Al Golden said he did not expect the university to be surprised by the NCAA's findings. Several people involved in the investigation said Miami has had representation at many interviews the NCAA conducted with persons it found to be of interest.A CBSSports.com report published Monday said that the NCAA could not prove former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro's claim that former Miami men's basketball coach Frank Haith or a member of his Miami staff paid 10,000 to the family of former Hurricanes' player DeQuan Jones. Shapiro has said that he provided that money.Jones was suspended by Miami last season after Shapiro's claims were published in August 2011 by Yahoo Sports, then ultimately allowed to return to the team.CBSSports.com also said Haith will face the "unethical conduct" charge because of inconsistencies the NCAA found in his account of Jones' recruitment. CBSSports.com also said Haith will be charged with "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance" because relatives of two players were given impermissible airline travel."The University has been in communication with the NCAA regarding their ongoing efforts related to the University of Miami investigation," Missouri said in a statement. "Coach Haith and the University of Missouri continue to cooperate fully. However, we are not at liberty to comment further out of respect for the NCAA process."One of those players, current senior Reggie Johnson, was suspended for a game last season after Miami and the NCAA found members of his family accepted what they called "impermissible travel benefits." And guard Durand Scott, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, was for the end of last season and the start of this season after he was also found to have gotten unspecified extra benefits.Whenever the actual letter arrives, Miami's receipt of the notice of allegations will usher in the start of the sanctions phase.And that could take months -- meaning actual penalties may not be handed down until this summer, or later.Typically, schools and individuals named in the notice of allegations have 90 days to file a response to the NCAA's findings, all of which would be reviewed by the committee on infractions -- which operates separately from the NCAA's investigative arm.Some of the sanctions have already gone into effect, since they were self-imposed. Miami's football team has missed three postseason games -- two bowl games and what would have been an appearance in this season's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game -- in response to the investigation, and Golden is holding back a number of scholarships from the 2013 roster as well.Shapiro, the former booster, is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for masterminding a 930 million Ponzi scheme. Virtually all of the individuals who were named by Shapiro in his detailed claims that were published by Yahoo Sports are no longer at the university, and several of the people to whom the NCAA wanted to talk simply refused during the inquiry.The NCAA inquiry started several months before that August 2011 article.

Rick Renteria wants you to be ready for the White Sox to win in 2020: 'People, have expectations'

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria wants you to be ready for the White Sox to win in 2020: 'People, have expectations'

SAN DIEGO — Rick Renteria isn’t shy about what he wants for his White Sox.

No, he’s not out there on Twitter, demanding the front office adds Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Nicholas Castellanos and Dallas Keuchel. But every chance he gets, he talks about where he expects his team to be in 2020.

“We left the season last year, the last series of the year, talking about this year, what we were going to expect and what we wanted to do and the things that we want to accomplish,” the skipper said Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. “Obviously winning more games and being a part of a relevant season is important to us, so we're going to ask a lot of these guys.

“It's time. We talked about it being time. Guys are going to have to step it up. We've made tremendous strides, made growth, but we still have to continue to add pieces to put us over the top to give us an opportunity to be relevant.”

Don’t misconstrue those words as Renteria poking his front office. Rick Hahn & Co. know very well they’ve got more work to do in the wake of giving the richest contract in team history to free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal.

But a generally silent first two days at the Winter Meetings — there is a rumor suggesting the White Sox are trying to trade for Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara — have not lived up to the sky-high expectations of fans, who anticipated hearing the South Siders tied to the biggest names on the free-agent market.

Because the White Sox have been so quiet, it’s hard to figure out what new toys Renteria will have to play with in 2020. It’s hard to figure out if the White Sox will even be ready to leap into contender status by the time March rolls around.

That doesn’t seem to matter to Renteria, though, who was talking about the 2020 postseason while still wrapping up an 89-loss season in 2019. He’s instructing the fan base to start thinking the same way.

“People, have expectations,” he instructed. “Have them on me. Have them on our team. Have them on everyone.

“What scares me is if people don't have expectations. That scares me because then it means you're not striving to be better. We want to be better. We want our guys to improve.”

The idea that all the young White Sox who broke out in 2019 still have a good deal of growing and improving to do is what makes the future so bright on the South Side. And it’s what drew Grandal to sign with the team. It’s what Hahn says should make the White Sox a destination for all free agents.

Renteria agrees.

“There's no one, I don't think, that we've talked to, even toward the end of last year and even people that we've spoken to in terms of possibly coming here that don't see where we're at right now,” Renteria said. “I think there is an optimism and an excitement about the South Side right now that is legit. I don't think it's made up. It's not. It's real.”

As Hahn has alluded to for some time now, any skeptical fans out there likely won’t believe the White Sox have arrived as contenders until they see it, be it through the huge splashes of offseason additions or the fusion of the young core into a true force to be reckoned with. Rumors of reclamation-project outfielders and stopgap solutions in the starting rotation aren’t exactly bringing folks to Renteria’s level of excitement.

But any stretches of offseason inactivity shouldn’t make anyone forget about Yoan Moncada or Lucas Giolito or Tim Anderson or Eloy Jimenez or Luis Robert or Nick Madrigal. Or, you know, Grandal.

That’s what’s real. That’s what’s got Renteria so excited.

Playoffs? A Jim Mora style reaction to that question wouldn’t be unwarranted. But Renteria is asking you to dream bigger.

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Cubs still trying to break through on extension talks with current players

Cubs still trying to break through on extension talks with current players

SAN DIEGO — While the rest of the baseball world is occupying their time on free agent signings and trades, the Cubs have been waiting for their number to be called.

They've been trying to nail down extensions with key players that are only a couple years away from free agency, though nothing appears imminent on that front. 

Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber are all free agents after the 2021 season, leaving the Cubs two years to work out a deal or trade the player before losing them for nothing but a compensation pick. Willson Contreras is a free agent after 2022. Theo Epstein's front office reached a four-year, $55.5 million deal with Kyle Hendricks in spring training, extending his team control through the 2023 season.

The Cubs won't comment specifically on the current extension talks, but they'd ideally hope to wrap anything before spring training this year, so the players can focus solely on baseball by then.

"We always take the position of not commenting on extensions, but are we having those discussions? Yes," Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. "People focus so much on trades and free agent signings at these meetings, but all the agents are under the same roofs, also, and allows us to have those kinds of discussions. I'm not gonna specify who or what, but yeah certainly those conversations are ongoing."

Bryant has long been thought of as the toughest of the group to lock up long-term given that his agent, Scott Boras, typically advises clients to hit the open market and maximize their value. Boras reiterated Tuesday afternoon at the Winter Meetings he and Bryant are still open to extension talks with the Cubs.

Baez and Rizzo loom as the two most likely to extend their Wrigley Field stays, with the two emerging as the faces of the franchise in their own ways.

As the Cubs try to navigate an offseason where they're "serving two masters" (trying to compete in 2020-21 while also enhancing the long-term future of the franchise), a potential extension would check both boxes in a major way. If Hoyer and Theo Epstein knew Baez would be locking down shortstop and the middle of the lineup for the next six seasons, they could breathe a bit easier thinking about the big picture and long-term health of the franchise. 

At the same time, they can't operate as if anything is a certainty. Bryant could decide he likes the Cubs' offer and make Chicago his forever baseball home. Baez could conclude the opposite. 

It's what makes this particular offseason so tricky for the Cubs.

"We have to be able to have parallel tracks in our mind," Hoyer said. "We have to be able to do multiple things at once. It doesn't make it more difficult. We have a lot of really good players. We've had them for a long time. When we talk to these players about contracts, there's no player that we talk to that we haven't had a conversation with at some point before about a contract. 

"We've talked about these players for five years in some way, shape or form. When we sit down with these players, we're not covering a ton of new ground. We've already been over a lot of it. I think we're able to have parallel tracks."